Georgia High School Championships.
Marist and St. Pius X swept the boys and girls Class AAAA and Class AAA state championships, while the Walker School girls successfully defended their Class AA/A title.
Greater Atlanta Christian won its second Class AA/A boys championship with a 4-1 win over Westminster in a showdown between the state’s co-#1 teams in that classification.
Parkview Perfect On PKs
The Panthers and Harrison played to a 1-1 draw through overtime, forcing the game to be decided on kicks. Parkview took nine kicks, and made every one of them. Harrison took nine kicks and Panthers’ senior goalkeeper Chelsea Ramsey got her hands on the last one and the game was over.
Top-ranked Parkview finished the year 23-1-0, with the only loss being to South Carolina’s Irmo HS. Harrison, ranked #2, finished 20-2-1. The championship was the third straight for the Panthers, and fifth this decade. They now have a 49-game unbeaten streak against Georgia opponents dating back to April of 2007.
Harrison, with nine juniors and no seniors, will be strong again next year.
“We were fighting a heavyweight, two-time defending state champion and they were going to defend their title,” said Harrison coach Steve Riccard. “We took them 90 minutes, 9-8 in PKS, so that’s nothing to hang your head about.”
Win One For The Coach
The Collins Hill Eagles gave their coach, Stan Carpenter, the best going away present he could have had. Junior Malcolm Miller got the game’s only goal late in the first half.
The win was a bittersweet sendoff for Carpenter, who leaves for Mountain View next fall, along with assistant coach Jim Gassman. The Eagles finished the season 19-3-0. They allowed only one goal in the playoffs.
Centennial, which had scored 18 goals in four games coming into the final, finished 18-3.
A Nightmare For McIntosh
McIntosh came into the championship game unbeaten and ranked #1 nationally in the NSCAA spring prep poll. They were favored in the boys Class AAAA final, but Marist shattered the dream with a 2-1 upset.
Taylor Withorn gave the Eagles a 1-0 lead as he got on the end of a long throw-in in the final minute of the first half. McIntosh tied it in the second minute of the second half. The game winner was the result of another long throw-in, this time with William Raffety on the scoring end midway through the second half.
The game marked the Eagles’ third trip to the state finals, and their second state title (2006 and 2009).
In the playoffs Marist (15-7-0) beat #9 ranked Alexander, #6 ranked Lakeside Evans, #3 ranked Habersham Central, #2 ranked Lakeside DeKalb (also ranked #9 nationally), and then knocked off #1 McIntosh (22-1-0). The Eagles only allowed one goal in the playoffs, that coming in the final.
“The boys will never forget it,” said coach Brendan Murphy. “It was a story for the ages. The best soccer experience I’ve ever had and I’ve been around it all my life!”
Seven Goals In The Final
Marist captured the Class AAAA girls state title with a 4-3 win over Whitewater. Senior Mary Coffed, who is headed to Auburn in the fall, was a dominant force in her last game as a Marist Eagle.
She, along with Laura Eddy, Shannon Fitzpatrick, and Belen Diego shared the goalscoring honors as Marist finished the season 21-1-0 with their second straight state title. Whitewater finished the year 19-2-1.
7th State Title For St. Pius X Boys
It didn’t take long for St. Pius X (16-6-1) to break through a West Hall HS defense that had given up a goal since March 23. Less than two minutes into the game, Golden Lions forward Stephen McGill took a corner kick from Andy Leipold and headed it into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.
The final would be 3-0 with McGill and Zach Elstad getting the other goals. The win gave the Golden Lions a 16-6-1 record and their first state boys title since 2001. They got to the title game by knocking off top-ranked Carrolton 1-0 in the semifinal on a goal from McGill.
“I’m proud of what we did,” said West Hall coach Wolfgang Jager, whose team finished 18-4-0. “Being in the state championship game for the first time, that was a mental burden and it came out in the way we played. But I’m still proud of them.”
St. Pius Girls Nationally Ranked
The Golden Lions were the Golden Girls as they shutout the North Hall Trojans 3-0 for the Class AAA state title.
Senior Erin Hill got the opening goal, with senior Christine Christy getting #2. Junior Vronica Ramero finished the scoring late in the second half.
St. Pius ran the table for a 22-0-0 record and is ranked #1 nationally in the NSCAA’s May 12 girls spring poll. North Hall finished 17-4-0.
Hat Trick Drives GAC Victory
Chris Thomas scored three goals in his final game in a Greater Atlanta Christian uniform, as the Spartans won their second state title in four years with a 4-1 win over Westminster.
GAC (20-2-0) got off to a shaky start, falling behind eight minutes into the game on a goal by Robby Greenfield. Then Thomas went to work, and the Spartans defense and goalkeeper John Max Bolling (nine saves) shut down the Wildcats the rest of the way. Westminster was 16-4-2 on the season.
Two Straight For Walker Girls
Two second-half goals by Nicole Locandro were all that Walker needed. That and a stout defense as the Lady Wolverines blanked rival Lovett 2-0 for the Class AA/A girls state title.
It was the second straight state title for the Walker girls, and third overall.
Locandro extended her career single season goal scoring record to 33 with the two goals, and freshman Alyse Scott put up her 15th shutout of the season. She allowed only one goal in the playoffs.
Walker finished 18-3-0, while Lovett was 15-8-0.